See It Instead: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Listen, you know whether you are going to see this reverse intervention for Johnny Depp or not. If you’d rather walk the plank than see “Pirates 5” here be some flicks t’tide ye over. Arr.
Here on See It Instead, we give you all the news you can use on the movies you might want to peruse, so you can choose to excuse yourself from a mainstream flick that’s making you snooze. The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean is unfurling its Jolly Roger and firing a warning shot off our bough this weekend. Why not give yourself an extra ration of rum and batten the couch down instead? Here are some movies to float your boat.
The Serious Pick: Captain Phillips (2013)
Tom Hanks stars in the “based on a true story” film about an American cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates. This tense thriller had several directorial tricks up its sleeve. Firstly, the men playing the pirates were all actual Somalis (be it from Minnesota), and had never acted before. They were purposefully kept away from Tom Hanks during filming, so that their first meeting during the hijack would have maximum tension. The dialogue was mostly ad-libbed during the takeover of the bridge, and Barkhad Abdi’s iconic line “Look at me, I’m the captain now” was of his own creation. Lastly, Hanks insists the lifeboat scenes were filmed on water the whole time, which apparently got him covered in his fellow crew-mate’s vomit several times. Gotta love the realism.
While I’m not a giant fan of embellished tales of American excellence, Tom Hanks is a terrific actor, and the tension in the film is extraordinarily well done (see above). If you want to see what real piracy looks like, skip the Parrot and check out the adventures of the US Maersk Alabama.
The Lighthearted Pick: The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
Kevin Kline and Angela Landsbury star in a tale of cops and high seas robbers. Based on the Gilbert and Sullivan Broadway musical-comedy, this song has manly men singing and dancing in all their flouncy glory. Just don’t watch the background singers, they are lip-syncing the original Broadway singers.
This movie is also a strange tale of how much has changed in the movie business. While it was a critical success, this movie bombed hard at the box office. Universal Studios tried a simultaneous theatrical and television release (on its Select TV platform) and enraged theaters boycotted it. With Netflix and Amazon making home movie releases big business and VUDU snatching up movies so close to their release as to almost be simultaneous, it is interesting to see Hollywood’s first attempt at the double dip go down to Davy Jone’s Locker.
The Crazy Pick: The Ice Pirates (1984)
Robert Urich and Micheal D. Roberts run from one disastrous situation to another in this sci-fi send-up. Han Solo made the sexy space smuggler famous in the 80’s and everyone wanted in on the action. Robert Urich, a minor heartthrob at the time, donned the leathers in this tale of the exact opposite of competence porn. While Han stayed cool as a cucumber as he shot and sweet talked his way in and out of tight spots, Urich’s Jason (really? couldn’t have given him a cool sci-fi name like Zap or Dash?) was constantly on the back foot, and it was hilarious. Add in one iconic scene about an emasculating assembly line, and you have a cheesy film for the ages. Also, Anjelica Huston and Ron Pearlman are in this, how could it be bad?